AI counts elephants from space

Researchers have posted a paper about using satellite images to count elephants on the ground: Using very‐high‐resolution satellite imagery and deep learning to detect and count African elephants in heterogeneous landscapes.

In this study, we apply a Convolution Neural Network (CNN) model to automatically detect and count African elephants in a woodland savanna ecosystem in South Africa. We use WorldView‐3 and 4 satellite data –the highest resolution satellite imagery commercially available. … Our results show that the CNN performs with high accuracy, comparable to human detection capabilities. The detection accuracy (i.e., F2 score) of the CNN models was 0.78 in heterogeneous areas and 0.73 in homogenous areas. This compares with the detection accuracy of the human labels with an averaged F2 score 0.77 in heterogeneous areas and 0.80 in homogenous areas

The imaging work was done by Maxar Technologies.